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The novel sources of the neurotoxin BMAA in aquatic environments
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Neurotoxinet β -N-metylamino -L-alanin (BMAA) anses vara en potentiell miljöriskfaktor för utvecklingen av den neurodegenerativa sjukdomen amyotrofisk lateralskleros (ALS) och har en potentiell roll i flertalet andra neurodegenerativa sjukdomar. Sedan 2003, då det upptäcktes att BMAA produceras av den symbiotiska cyanobakterien Nostoc punctiforme  har flera andra BMAA producerande cyanobakteriearter identifierats. Dessa arter som representanterar alla fem de fem taxonomiska grupperna och som kan återfinnas i marina , bräckta samt sötvattensekosystem världen över .

I de två studier som presenteras visas för första gången genom analys av odlade kulturer samt i fältprover att BMAA produceras av eukaryoter tillhörande kiselalger och dinoflagellatgrupperna.  Med tanke på den allmänna utbredningen av dessa två grupper i akvatiskamiljöer, deras centrala roll som primärproducenter och som främsta föda för djurplankton , bottenlevande och filtrerande organismer , antar vi att biotillgängligheten av  BMAA torde vara högre än som tidigare spekulerats .

Portugisiska sötvattensutflödena ( Ria de Aveiro och Ria Formosa ) , som har kraftiga blomningar av phytoplankton, var de ekosystem som valdes ut för att testa hypotesen . Prover av den filtrerande hjärtmusslan ( Cerastoderma edule ) från båda vattendragen visade på förekomst av BMAA i mängder som var direkt korrelerade med förekomsten utav den mest dominerande och BMAA producerande dinoflagellaten Gymnodinium catenatum , vilken  sedan tidigare är en känd  producent av Paralytic Shellfish Toxin ( PST ).

Identifieringen av dessa nya källor för BMAA tillsammans med de potentiella synergieffekter för BMAA i kombination med PST, ökar hälsorisken för allmänheten i samband med intag av BMAA kontaminerade livsmedel .

Abstract [en]

The neurotoxin, β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is considered to be a potential environmental risk factor for developing the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and have a putative role in other multiple neurodegenerative diseases. Since 2003, when it was discovered to be produced by the symbiotic cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme, several other cyanobacteria BMAA sources have been identified. These sources represent species from all five cyanobacteria taxonomic sections harboring marine, brackish and freshwater ecosystems worldwide.

 

In the two studies presented here, BMAA was showed for the first time to be produced by species of eukaryotes belonging to the diatom and dinoflagellate groups. This was achieved through the analysis of diatom and dinoflagellate cultures and field samples. Given the ubiquity of these two groups in aquatic environments and their central role as primary producers and as main food items for zooplankton, bottom-dwelling and filter-feeding organisms, we hypothesize that BMAA bioavailability should be higher than previously expected.

 

Portuguese transitional water bodies (Ria de Aveiro and Ria Formosa), with abundant phytoplanktonic blooms, were the selected ecosystem to test this hypothesis. Samples of the filter-feeding cockle (Cerastoderma edule) from both water bodies reveal presence of BMAA in amounts that where linked with cell abundance of the most dominant dinoflagellate, and BMAA producer Gymnodinium catenatum, a well-known Paralytic Shellfish Toxin (PST) producer.

 

The identification of novel BMAA sources together with the potential synergistic effects of BMAA with PST increased the health risk for the public in contact with BMAA-contaminated food.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm University, 2014. , 27 p.
Keyword [en]
β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, diatoms, dinoflagellates, shellfish, cockles, PST
National Category
Botany
Research subject
Plant Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102998OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102998DiVA: diva2:714187
Presentation
2014-05-20, 540, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:10 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Formas
Available from: 2014-05-22 Created: 2014-04-25 Last updated: 2014-05-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Diatoms: A Novel Source for the Neurotoxin BMAA in Aquatic Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diatoms: A Novel Source for the Neurotoxin BMAA in Aquatic Environments
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2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 1, e84578Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease is a neurological disorder linked to environmental exposure to a non-protein amino acid, beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). The only organisms reported to be BMAA-producing, are cyanobacteria - prokaryotic organisms. In this study, we demonstrate that diatoms - eukaryotic organisms - also produce BMAA. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry revealed the occurrence of BMAA in six investigated axenic diatom cultures. BMAA was also detected in planktonic field samples collected on the Swedish west coast that display an overrepresentation of diatoms relative to cyanobacteria. Given the ubiquity of diatoms in aquatic environments and their central role as primary producers and the main food items of zooplankton, the use of filter and suspension feeders as livestock fodder dramatically increases the risk of human exposure to BMAA-contaminated food.

National Category
Biological Sciences Analytical Chemistry
Research subject
Analytical Chemistry; Plant Physiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100864 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0084578 (DOI)000329460100066 ()
Note

AuthorCount:8;

Available from: 2014-02-19 Created: 2014-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. BMAA in shellfish from two Portuguese transitional water bodies suggests the marine dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum as a potential BMAA source
Open this publication in new window or tab >>BMAA in shellfish from two Portuguese transitional water bodies suggests the marine dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum as a potential BMAA source
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2014 (English)In: Aquatic Toxicology, ISSN 0166-445X, E-ISSN 1879-1514, Vol. 152, 131-138 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The neurotoxin -N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) and its putative role in multiple neurodegenera-tive diseases have been intensely studied since 2005 when the toxin was discovered to be producedby worldwide-distributed cyanobacterial species inhabiting terrestrial, marine, brackish, and freshwaterecosystems. Recently, BMAA production was also associated with one eukaryotic group, namely, diatoms,raising questions about its production by other phytoplanktonic groups. To test for BMAA bioavailabilityin ecosystems where abundant phytoplanktonic blooms regularly occur, samples of filter-feeding shell-fish were collected in two Portuguese transitional water bodies. BMAA content in cockles (Cerastodermaedule) collected weekly between September and November 2009 from Ria de Aveiro and at least once amonth from May to November from Ria Formosa, fluctuated from 0.079 ± 0.055 to 0.354 ± 0.066 g/g DWand from below the limit of detection to 0.434 ± 0.110 g/g DW, respectively. Simultaneously to BMAAoccurrence in cockles, paralytic shellfish toxins were detected in shellfish as a result of Gymnodiniumcatenatum blooms indicating a possible link between this marine dinoflagellate and BMAA production.Moreover, considerable high BMAA levels, 0.457 ± 0.186 g/g DW, were then determined in a laboratorygrown culture of G. catenatum. This work reveals for the first time the presence of BMAA in shellfishfrom Atlantic transitional water bodies and consubstantiate evidences of G. catenatum as one of the mainsources of BMAA in these ecosystems.

Keyword
β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), Dinoflagellates, Gymnodinium catenatum, Transitional water bodies, Cerastoderma edule, Bioaccumulation, Paralytic shellfish toxins, Portugal
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Physiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102941 (URN)10.1016/j.aquatox.2014.03.029 (DOI)000338607300015 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2014-04-25 Created: 2014-04-25 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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